Picks and Pans Review: Inherit the Wind

updated 03/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/21/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

NBC (Sun., March 20, 9 p.m. ET)


Inherit the Hot Air, that's what this really is, just a bunch of overheated bluster passed down from acting generation to acting generation, from Paul Muni and Ed Begley in the 1955 play to Spencer Tracy and Fredric March in the 1960 movie and now to Jason Robards and Kirk Douglas on TV. You know the story: Robards as Henry Drummond (a character based on Clarence Darrow) defends a teacher prosecuted for spreading Darwin's theory of evolution, while on the other side Douglas as Matthew Brady (who's really William Jennings Bryan) defends the Bible. As a movie it was a wonderful vehicle for Spencer Tracy's talents. As a TV show it is a demolition derby for Kirk Douglas' overacting; he should star in another TV movie they're sure to make soon: The Jimmy Swaggart Story. Only problem is, judging by their recent performances, Swaggart is the better actor.

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